Welcome to my world - The world of Tish

Sunday, May 08, 2005

What's in your Box?

Have you ever tried explaining white lies to your children? For those without children, think back to your childhood. Unless you were raised in Hollywood by celebrity parents, it's doubtful the art of white lies was taught to you.

It wasn't the lie that bothered my kids, but the fact that I called it a "white" lie. Casper's eyes searched for the answer to this question:

Is there a blue lie?

That got me thinking and of course, blogging. If a white lie is 'innocent', what would the other colors be? And since we aren't born to lie, we must learn this ability in stages.

In the beginning, children learn the basics. There is no finesse, no beauty to these lies. They are what they are, even as unbelievable as some can be. "The dog ate my homework." "My imaginary friend did it, not me." "I don't know who left the bathtub running." As adorable as this stage is, if not caught in time, children will trade up for the new and improved version.

Teenagers and college students possess these 'boxes'. What once was a bold face lie now has backstory, weight, and on occasion, a life of its own. Plagiarism, missing curfew - hopefully this is as serious as it gets. For the college students, "I'll call you" and "It's not you, it's me" finds its way into their color palette. And with graduation, marriage, children, and life staring them in the face, they arm themselves with the most sophisticated armor of all:

From the white lie of "You don't look like you've gained ANY weight" to the blackest untruth "Of course I'm not screwing around" or "I didn't kill anyone", this container provides more than enough options for adults across all economic and social backgrounds. Every shade and color gradient covers a multitude of sins with another layer of deceit. It isn't until each lie is exposed to the light of truth do they melt away and reveal themselves as nothing but fancy words and colorless promises.

I've told Casper and Drama Diva that all lies are ugly, no matter the color. It's hard to raise honest children in a society that rewards liars, but it's worth it. Even if I have to endure the embaressment of their truth.


  • People lie all the time, and many lies are told for good reasons. What do you tell someone who's undergoing chemotherapy? "Man, you look like death warmed over." I don't think so. So people do tell lies because they care about other people's feelings; and those are the white lies. Yes? No? Maybe?

    By Anonymous hb, at 7:35 PM  

  • Good point. I think it's a slippery slope type of cunundrum (spelling?). The older you get, the lily white lies that you told as a youngster somehow discolor, darken, and have more to do with covering your own butt than protecting feelings of another. BUT you are right. It's an enigma. I LOVE USING THESE WORDS!

    By Blogger Tisha from Texas, at 7:59 PM  

  • i really like the way you explained that. o yea, got you off of simply complicated.

    By Blogger Maddie, at 8:51 PM  

  • Not having had a Dr. Pepper in quite some time, I saw the connection between crayons and lies IMMEDIATELY. ;-)

    Private joke folks, I don't expect anyone other than Tish to understand it. ;-)

    By Anonymous GMRoper, at 7:02 AM  

  • Wow, you hit the nail on the head. I hate lying in any color. Honesty hurts sometimes though. As Tisha said......it's a slippery slope.

    By Blogger SugarNSpice, at 7:56 AM  

  • Tish, this was a great post - no lie!

    hb - sometimes it is just best not to say anything at all, that is what I do, I replace the lie, with silence.

    By Blogger Eddo, at 12:44 PM  

  • How very insightful! You are so right, how our lies go from singular and bold, to shaded and jaded as we get older. I think we all lie as adults, and don't even realize it half the time. It is truly difficult to be completely honest. Honesty is just not rewarded in our society, and it is a shame. Great post!

    By Blogger Robin, at 1:24 PM  

  • I saw your post on Amanda's blog and decided to stop by. First up - love your template! Secondly, the crayon analogy is excellent. Lying is definitely not black and white, and the continuum of colors makes it difficult to draw any definite conclusions about when to do what.

    By Blogger jadedprimadonna, at 2:55 PM  

  • Excellent analogy!

    Good stuff.

    If I weren't so freaking brain-dead I would say something really interesting right [here].

    By Blogger trisha, at 4:11 PM  

  • Oh I love this post! Crayolas as a comparison to lies! LOL! And WOW!

    By Blogger thequeen, at 8:43 PM  

  • Tish,
    Great post as usual. You have a unique way of looking at things and the verbal skills to make it come to life.
    Your crayon analogy made me think of those first family portraits that our children make for us. There's a stick figure with a huge head with green hair sticking out in all directions, multicolored, polka-dotted, striped clothes. Proudly printed in huge letters above the figure, "DAD."
    The garish self-portraits we sometimes "color" are equally unrecognizable.
    Sorry about chasing a rabbit there.
    Great post. Great blog. Thanks.

    By Blogger bornfool, at 9:28 PM  

  • You are advocating teaching children to tell the truth?! What a bold concept! Your children are indeed blessed! May I say that I like your style? Because I do!

    By Blogger Bernadette, at 10:36 PM  

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